Audubon Bird Count
Every December 14th, a contingent of serious birders from the US and various parts of Mexico come here to participate in the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. That is a birder tradition that dates back to the early 1900s and the Barra area is one of the few annual counts in Mexico.
The local count has become a high light of the birding year for a group of 20 to 30 plus enthusiastic birders. It is organized by Laurel Patrick of El Refugio de Potosi. There is usually a big dinner/meeting the night before. Birders are organized into teams that explore and count different bird-rich areas and then reassemble and share their results.
The number of total species sighted in just one day has run to over 160. You can see a spreadsheet with results on the Activities/Birding page. If you are interested in participating, contact Laurel Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Street Fair
Every winter the village of Barra de Potosi holds an annual street fair where locals have handicrafts and foods for sale. There are also dance and musical performances. They literally are dancing in the street. The date varies. But if you are visiting, it is worth asking about to see if you will get to be here when it happens.
Day of the Virgin
The night of December 11th is the most special day of the year in the village of Barra de Potosi. That night the people celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe. Most of the homes have elaborate shrines erected on the street front and they are lavishly decorated with images and flowers and lit by blinking Christmas lights. After dark, the women of the village who are organized into two groups leave the little church and start a procession through the town, the two groups singing back and forth and visiting each of the shrines. They are all dressed in traditional wardrobes; beautifully and painstakingly handmade. It is an amazing experience.
The next morning, the men take over. After a mass in the church, the entire community marches down the beach to where the fleet of pangas is moored in the lagoon. The boats have all been decorated with everything from palm leaves to balloons. Everyone climbs aboard and motors to the center of the lagoon where a priest conducts a blessing for the community. This is a wonderful time to visit Playa Blanca.